It has been a while, but I have returned, dear reader. No need to skip another beat – the remaining modes of limited transposition (modes 4, 5, 6 and 7) each have six transpositions – more than the first three modes, but less than your usual major/minor scale. To quote the master himself: “One point […]

Now it gets interesting – if a C major scale is a lightly salted soda cracker, consider the whole-tone scale a wheat thin, and the octatonic scale is some tasty ciabatta with olive oil. This next mode of limited transposition might very well be “The Burger.” Messiaen himself invented the remaining five modes of limited […]

The octatonic scale is not new to guitarists, in jazz it’s commonly known as the diminished scale because it is essentially two diminished seventh chords superimposed to form an 8-note scale. Like the whole-tone scale, Messiaen did not invent it, but he categorized it as the second mode of limited transposition. The scale simply alternates […]

I love Messiaen – his harmonic language makes me tingle. Unfortunately, he never wrote a note for guitar. Since everyone and their grandmother seem to own a guitar today, I thought it would be fun to provide some resources for guitarists that draw on Messiaen’s musical language. As a guitarist/composer I’ve been exploring various applications […]